Kiev does not expect that deliveries of Western fighters to Ukraine will begin in the near future. This was stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the country Dmitry Kuleba in an interview with the German publication Bild. At the same time, Kuleba called for pilot training to begin if such a decision is planned to be made by Western countries in the future.
“I do not expect the delivery of fighters to happen any time soon because it is a very difficult task in terms of logistics and technology. Therefore, we advise you to start training Ukrainian pilots on Western aircraft now, so that when a decision is made to provide such weapons, you don’t waste time and many months on training,” Kuleba said.
Last week it was reported that at least two Ukrainian pilots are now in the United States and are training on flight simulators at a military base in Tucson (Arizona). The purpose of these drills is to assess the skills of the pilots in order to understand how long the training program for Ukrainian military pilots on modern Western aircraft will take. This was reported by NBC News and CNN, citing their sources.
Ukraine insists on the supply of combat aircraft to it by Western countries to repel Russian aggression. We are talking mainly about fighters. NATO states have been discussing this issue since the end of January. So far, the authorities of France and the Netherlands have allowed the supply of aircraft to Kyiv.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz ruled out sending fighter jets to Ukraine, citing the need to prevent further escalation of the conflict. US President Joe Biden also said earlier that he was not considering such a possibility. At the same time, according to The New York Times, the Biden administration did not rule out the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Kyiv through third countries.